Police: Rutherford forced way into woman's car

PITTSBURGH -- Pitt quarterback Rod Rutherford was charged
Friday with kicking out a car window and assaulting a woman outside
a nightclub.

Rutherford forced his way into the car early Monday after she
refused his advances, police said. Rutherford got out of the car
and grabbed the 19-year-old woman through a partially opened
window, causing her to strike her head and face, police said

As the woman drove away, Rutherford kicked out a window, police
said. Two passengers in the car were not injured.

Rutherford was charged with indecent assault, simple assault and
criminal mischief. He has disputed the woman's account, saying she
threw a glass at him in the parking lot.

Calls to his attorney, James Wymard, were not immediately
returned Friday.

The charges came one day after coach Walt Harris said Rutherford
violated team rules and would not be the opening-day starter
Saturday for the No. 10 Panthers.

"I have a great deal of respect for Rod Rutherford," Harris
said Thursday. "From the information we have, he has engaged in
behavior that is contrary to those expectations, our team rules and
the responsibilities he assumes as a leader."

Harris on Thursday did not say if additional action would be
taken if charges were filed.

Harris' decision most likely means redshirt freshman Luke Getsy,
who did not play last season, will start against Kent State (1-0).

Earlier this week, Harris said the case had become a major
distraction as Pitt enters its most anticipated season in 20 years.

Less than three months ago, sophomore wide receiver Billy Gaines
fell to his death after a cookout at which five Panthers players
allegedly were served alcohol by a priest.

Rutherford led Pittsburgh to a 9-4 record in his first season as
a starter, throwing for 2,783 yards and 22 touchdowns. He passed
for a touchdown in a 38-13 victory over Oregon State in the Insight
Bowl. His 3,181 yards in total offense set a school record and were
the third most in Big East Conference history.